Last week the Mariners sent Doug Fister and David Pauley to the Tigers for Casper Wells, prospects Charlie Furbush and Francisco Martinez, and an undisclosed player to be named later.
The fourth player’s identity went unannounced because he was a 2010 draft pick and thus can’t officially be traded until he’s been signed for one calendar year. That date is August 15, but in the meantime Jason Churchill of ESPN.com reports that the PTBNL is likely 48th overall pick Chance Ruffin, who made his MLB debut for the Tigers on July 25.
If he’ll soon be Mariners property the 22-year-old reliever’s inclusion in the deal makes it look a lot better for Seattle. Things are still unofficial for another couple weeks, but the trade would be Fister and Pauley for Furbush, Martinez, Wells, and Ruffin, who starred at the University of Texas and earned a call-up to Detroit by saving 17 games with a 2.00 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 45 innings as a minor leaguer.
Not coincidentally he was optioned back to the minors on July 29, where the Mariners will no doubt closely monitor his workload until the deal is completed.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.